Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A Big Scare

The past week has made the Christmas period look like a breeze. If that was a bumpy cycle ride, this has been a white knuckled rollercoaster. I’ve felt as if I’d strayed into someone else’s life, and couldn’t get back to my own.

In reverse order, my credit card was found to be “compromised” (someone had got my card details) – luckily the bank found out and cancelled it pronto before someone made use of it. But it made me realise how vulnerable we are with card fraud.

My dear mate Viv was due to come back to Cornwall for the first time in 18 months and spend the weekend with me, but she was unable to come back because her partner has had to go into hospital. On that note, Mr B is still very poorly and surrounded by illness so he’s not able to get back either.

And lastly, I found a lump in my stomach – about the size of an apple. It wasn’t painful and I didn't have any untoward symptoms, but it was definitely there, so I went to the doctor who prodded me and said I should have an urgent ultrasound and blood tests. Then she rang me when I got home and said she was referring me to a specialist straight away. “It could be a cyst on your bowel or ovaries, but it could be something more sinister,” she said. As there’s bowel cancer in my family, I think you can imagine how I felt.

Two days later I had a phone call saying I had an appointment to see a gynaecologist on 15th Jan. Great, I thought, I won't have to wait long. But the next day I got the letter saying it was for the Gynaecology Oncology department. I freaked.

Fear hovered around me like a particularly bad hangover, about to pounce. I fought against it, determined it wouldn’t take over, but at very wobbly moments, it clawed at me and my stomach plummeted, as if I was in a lift crashing to the ground floor. No matter how wonderful friends are, it’s a terrifying, incredibly isolating experience and makes you feel incredibly vulnerable. The future, that I’d always taken for granted, suddenly hovered like a sinister question mark.

One good thing about all this is, as I learnt when Pip was so ill, is that it made me realise what fabulous friends I have. At times like this you quickly learn who your real friends are, who you can rely on, and who you want to be with. At these times, it’s vital to spend time with the right people. The wrong ones can knock you off balance and I was much too vulnerable for that.

But I saw the gynaecologist today and he thinks it’s a cyst. (Phew.) I have to have a scan next week and they can see more clearly what it is, then go back in 3 weeks to discuss taking my ovaries out to prevent my getting another cyst. The recovery time for surgery is up to 12 weeks and no driving for 6 weeks, both of which fill me with horror, but I will just have to call in favours from my long suffering mates yet again. But at least thank god it doesn't sound as if it's cancer, which has been my worst fear.

Despite having the best friends in the world, who hugged me and mopped up my tears, gave me advice and reassurance, living on my own has been really hard. I’ve felt the absence of strong arms and a cuddle like a hollow ache. So if you know of someone going through similar circumstances, give them a very big hug. It means more than anything.

And remember, we only have one life. We have to look after ourselves - and those we love - and make the most of every day. Life's too short to be unhappy.

33 comments:

Jane Lovering said...

Oh I do hope everything turns out all right - it sounds favourable, so fingers crossed for you!

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Jane - I'm sure it will be fine. Not looking forward to recovery time but I'm very ljucky to have got to my age and not have anything gone wrong!

Elaine Denning said...

Wishing you all the luck in the world. xxx

Elaine Denning said...

Wishing you all the luck in the world. xxx

Pat Posner said...

Aww, what a scary time, Sue. But at least he's pretty sure it's a cyst (not nice but you know what I mean).
Sending loads of hugs - some for now and some to last as long as you need them.
xxxPat

elegancemaison said...

Oh how awful for you Sue. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good (simple) outcome next week.

I've often wished that I lived in Falmouth and in reading your blog, wishing that I did and knew you. I love reading your blog posts even though I don't often comment.

I think hugs are the best thing and in my family we love them, though they are mostly virtual as our children are far flung across the world.

I'm sending you a very special virtual hug which I hope will help you to face next week.Cxx

Kim @ Him, Him Me said...

Big Hugs to you. Will be thinking of you over the next few days. May I suggest that you start taking arnica tablets as soon as you can and for up to 6 weeks after the op. My mum had the same op and took the arnica pills and it really helped with the healing both inside & out.
Take care

Sally said...

Sending you lots of love and hugs. I had a cyst a couple of years ago, the size of a grapefruit on my ovary and had that out laporoscopally (is that the word?) Recovery was much less time than you mention. Is that a possibility for you? Time for cookies I think! Will you be at choir tomorrow? xx

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh Sue! I'm so sorry you've gone through such a rollercoaster later. But I hope that the doctor is right and that it's just a cyst. I've had numerous cysts on my ovaries (one even burst and they had to take my right ovary as the trauma from the ovary severely damaged it).

I am so glad you have such wonderful friends to support you.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers...

Dc said...

Glad that they seem to think it a cyst, dreadful things, but like you say, could have been a lot worse. It is a shame it is so large otherwise you might have been offered keyhole surgery which has a quicker recovery time.You are right about proper friends. In recent years those I had thought were just that have drifted away, moaning about not finding time to arrange a visit (as though I was in hospital)yet I am at home 7 days a week and they are 2 days a week. Ain't life strange?

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Laney - it's just the disruption that will drive me up the wall!

Flowerpot said...

Oh Pat thanks so much - hugs much appreciated! xxx

Flowerpot said...

DC - what lovely hugs! Thanks for sucha lovely message. I treasure that xxx

Flowerpot said...

Kim - that's a really good tip - many thanks. xx

Flowerpot said...

DC (sorry earlier one should have been elegance) - I'm so sorry some friends have let you down. They don't deserve you. xx He did mention keyhole surgery but didnt seem to think it an option.

Flowerpot said...

Melissa - so sorry to hear about your experiences. That';s why he wants to take out my ovaries. Hope you are sorted now.

Flowerpot said...

Sally - he didnt seem to think keyhole would be teh best way to go but maybe.... as you say, recovery is much quicker. See you later! xx

Carol White said...

Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Good luck :-)

Carol White said...

Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Good luck.

ADDY said...

So sorry you have had this run of bad luck but wishing you a speedy recovery after your op. I had a fibroid removed/hysterectomy 13 years ago and the fibroid was the size of a rugby ball! It took about 12 weeks to recover but I felt so much better afterwards. You will be able to look forward to the summer and (hopefully) sunny warm weather too go walking and sailing with the op far far behind you

Flowerpot said...

Addy - wow that's some fibroid! I'm very much looking forward to the spring and summer and plenty of walking and sailing.

Flowerpot said...

Addy - wow that's some fibroid! I'm very much looking forward to the spring and summer and plenty of walking and sailing.

Flowerpot said...

Carol - many thanks .

Rena George said...

Oh, Sue, what a rotten time you’ve been having. Waiting for those results must have been truly horrendous. Cysts are not nice, but at least they can be dealt with, and I know you’ll cope with that recovery period in your usual spirited way.
Just look at all those lovely comments above, and then give yourself a big hug and know that we are all thinking about you. Rxx

Flowerpot said...

Rena - I have to say it's not the best start to 2014 but perhaps I can get all the tricky stuff out of the way and get on wiht enjoying life! I know - aren't they a bunch of wonderful comments? Most heartening. Sxx

Liane Spicer said...

Sending healing thoughts and cyberhugs your way, FP!

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Liane - that' svery kind.

Akelamalu said...

Bad news about the op but good news that the doc thinks it's nothing too sinister. Take care of yourself m'deario. xx

Flowerpot said...

Ak - thanks. Sleep is a bit hard to come by at the moment but I'm looking after myself best I can! xx

Morton S Gray said...

Just caught up with blog reading. Poor you - enormous hug. You can't help being scared in such a situation. Hope they sort you out soon. Mx

Flowerpot said...

Morton - thanks. The more hugs teh better! x

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Catching up on your blog, and found myself holding my breath reading this post. I'm sending virtual hugs and positive vibes in your direction that everything is 'okay.' Take care!

Flowerpot said...

Thanks so much Kim!